America's Largest Public Companies In 2019
JPMorgan Chase is the largest public company in the United States, according to the 17th annual Forbes Global 2000 list
The banking giant, which boasted $2.7 trillion in assets as of the 12 months ending on April 18, 2019, overtook Apple and Berkshire Hathaway to claim the top spot on the list. Bank of America, Apple, Wells Fargo and Exxon Mobil round out the top five.
The top 50 U.S. companies have a combined market capitalization of more than $12 trillion. Though the global list, which ranks public companies using a composite score of revenue, profits, assets and market value, is dominated by banks and financial services companies, just six of the top 50 companies in the United States are major banks. Citigroup, US Bancorp, and PNC join JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo round out the group of major banks, of which all but PNC saw rising profits due in large part to tax cuts set in motion by President Trump in 2017.
Apple ranks third on the U.S. list in 2019, though it remains the most profitable public company in the world, pulling in nearly $60 billion last year. Apple is also the largest U.S. company by market capitalization, clocking in at about $927 billion at the end of the same period. The U.S.'s other tech giants, Microsoft and Alphabet, come in at numbers 8 and 9, respectively. Retail giants Amazon and Walmart aren't far behind at numbers 13 and 14.
Notably, Berkshire Hathaway has fallen 11 spots since last year, when it tied with Apple for the number one spot. Warren Buffet's storied holding company ranks 12th this year thanks to a major writedown (courtesy of its holding Kraft Heinz) in the fourth quarter of 2018. Citigroup, on the other hand, ranked 190 on an extended list in 2018 thanks to losses related to assets overseas, rocketed back up to number 7.
U.S. stocks had a tumultuous year in 2018, especially during the final month of the year when the S&P 500 swung 1,000 points in a single trading day. Markets rebounded during the first quarter of 2019, but the escalation of trade war tensions between the United States and China in recent weeks have investors wondering if that volatility and trade uncertainty, sure to have an enormous impact on American companies, is the new normal.
Sarah Hansen, Forbes Staff